Woman abducts two-day-old baby girl from Ludhiana civil hospital
Befriended parents saying she also belonged to UP and had come to visit a relative at hospitalUpdated: Feb 11, 2020 22:37 IST
A woman abducted a newborn girl from the civil hospital here on Tuesday afternoon after befriending the mother and asking to hold the child and take her for a round of the wards.
Sarbawati, 28, of Dhandari Kalan and a native of Uttar Pradesh gave birth to the child on Sunday. Her husband Umesh, who works in a tool factory and informed the hospital staff and police about the woman and the baby’s disappearance, said they got suspicious when the woman did not return after an hour.
She had befriended Sarbawati by saying she too was from UP and had come to see a relative at the hospital. She had come into the wards on Monday and was standing near the new mother’s bed, even sleeping on the floor close to her at night.
Sarbawati stated that on Tuesday morning the hospital staff had told her that they were discharging her and while her husband was completing the requisite formalities the woman took the baby for a round of the ward and did not return.
The police who scanned CCTV cameras installed at the hospital said the woman was seen with the baby but it would not be of much help as her face was covered with the shawl she was wearing.
Senior medical officer (SMO) at civil hospital Dr Avinash Jindal said CCTV footage of the woman had been handed over to the police.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP, Central) Waryam Singh said that the police have lodged an FIR against unidentified accused. Involvement of hospital staff in the matter will also be investigated, he said.
As Sarbawati and Umesh had two daughters, the ACP said they will also probe if the family was involved in the disappearance of the newborn.
Initial inquiries revealed that the woman appeared to be quite friendly with Sarbawati.
ALL PARENTS’ FAULT: HOSPITAL
While the incident raised a question mark on the security arrangements at the civil hospital, its administration held the parents of the girl child responsible.
Senior medical officer (SMO) Dr Avinash Jindal said, “An unidentified woman somehow managed to get close with the couple in 24 hours. While the father, Umesh, was away to bring some medicine, the woman convinced the mother, Sarvavati, that she will take care of the child. Umesh also informed the police in the complaint that the woman had casually asked them to give her their child a day before but they didn’t take it seriously. The hospital is nowhere at fault.”
Jindal said the hospital had not initiated any inquiry in the matter since the couple formally approached the police, who are now carrying out the inquiry.
“We are checking the CCTV cameras installed at the civil hospital entrance and the mother child hospital premises. We are also asking the patients currently admitted at the hospital and their kin if they know anything about the woman,” he said.
The mother child hospital has a daily footfall of over 1,000 patients with around 800 deliveries per month.
Jindal said six security guards, two in each batch, stay on duty round the clock at the hospital, besides 16 CCTV cameras for surveillance. “However, it’s still a challenge to keep a check on every visitor since it is a government-run health institution. We had started a system of marking an entry of visitors some time back, which was discontinued after facing a lot of criticism,” he said.